Research from the IHL Group indicates that mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) shipments will grow more than 325 percent by 2018. That's good news for small and medium-sized businesses and very small businesses that prefer to skip the traditional cash register and fixed POS terminal model.
mPOS originally came on the scene as an inexpensive way for small merchants to accept credit and debit cards from customers. But the market really exploded when Square released its first dongle, a simple credit-card reader communicating with a smartphone or tablet app.
Evolving mPOS technology means more and more choices for small businesses today, and the list of benefits stretches long. Merchants can simplify customer payments, sell more products and services, and give employees more flexibility when serving customers. Payment processing costs are more transparent, the hardware and software are easy to set up and use, and contractual commitments are minimal.
Take a look at these three mPOS solutions designed for small businesses.
Probably the most widely used mPOS system for small businesses, Square readers connect to iPhone, iPad, or Android devices and carry no sign-up, activation, or cancellation fees. While the original magnetic-stripe readers were offered to merchants at no cost, the new EMV readers run $49.
Payment processing costs 2.75 percent of the transaction amount for swiped cards versus 3.5 percent plus $0.15 per transaction for cards entered manually. The free app handles receipts and allows customers to add tips, along with inventory management and sales reporting.
2. MagTek iDynamo 5 – secure card reader and authenticator
Assembling a complete mPOS solution for small business requires the right card reader. And for merchants using the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, or other supported iOS devices, the iDynamo 5 keeps data safe from the start.
Designed to connect to Apple Lightning devices, the iDynamo 5 encrypts data inside the read head as the card is swiped. Immediate tokenization of card data and card authentication adds layers of security, reducing the opportunity for fraudulent activity and also decreasing the scope of PCI compliance for the merchant.
3. Intuit GoPayment
Intuit's small-business mPOS solution includes a free card reader and works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. And you can swipe, key, or take a photo of the customer's credit card, with an additional option to process the transaction online. The company is also taking $30 pre-orders for mobile EMV readers, promising to cover fraud liability for enrolled merchants until March 31, 2016.
GoPayment offers two pricing plans and the promise of no termination fees. The pay-as-you-go option carries a 2.4 percent swipe rate and a 3.4 percent keyed rate (with a $0.25 transaction fee). If you opt for the $19.95-a-month plan, you'll get a swipe rate of 1.6 percent and a keyed rate of 3.2 percent with the same transaction fee. And transactions easily sync with QuickBooks, connecting payment processing with business management.
Selecting one of these mPOS solutions means increased revenue and mobility for your small business, without adding a lot of complexity to your business systems.
What mPOS solutions are you finding most popular for small businesses?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeremiah Shea leads Ingram Micro’s DC/POS Payments Program and provides support for vendors like Verifone, Ingenico, Magtek, ID Tech, and Equinox. He has been part of the DC/POS division at Ingram Micro now for five years, working with all facets of the business for strategic execution. Jeremiah has also become the subject matter expert on EMV readiness and overall payments strategy. With a technical background and a sound understanding of the business, he is a great resource to tap for any and all questions relating to EMV, but more broadly anything DC/POS related as well.
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